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Thursday, July 18, 2024

Rising Islamophobic incidents in the UK spark fear and concern among Muslims

The Independent reports instances where Muslim households have had bricks thrown through their windows for flying the Palestinian flag.

In the midst of the ongoing conflict between Israel and Hamas, the United Kingdom has witnessed a disturbing rise in Islamophobic incidents, leaving many Muslims feeling unsafe and fearful, particularly after dark. Reports from The Independent reveal a stark reality where individuals are targeted simply for expressing solidarity with Palestine, contributing to a climate of fear and anxiety within the Muslim community.

Targeted for Solidarity 

The rise in Islamophobic incidents in the UK is alarming, with individuals facing discrimination and hostility for displaying support for Palestine. The Independent reports instances where Muslim households have had bricks thrown through their windows for flying the Palestinian flag. Even young students have not been spared, with a 17-year-old questioned by teachers about his faith and political views after wearing a Palestinian badge to school.

Read More: Stockholm Mosque Faces Islamophobic Attacks, Urgent Action Needed

The Islamophobia Response Unit (IRU) has noted a staggering 365 percent increase in reports of Islamophobia in October 2023, following Hamas’ attack on Israel that month. This sustained rise in incidents emphasizes the profound impact on those affected and highlights the urgent need to address this concerning trend.

Combating Islamophobia

Majid Iqbal, CEO of the Islamophobia Response Unit, emphasizes the importance of not demonizing legitimate Palestinian activism, which risks exacerbating Islamophobia. Calling on the press and politicians to be mindful of their language and actions, Iqbal highlights the societal imperative to combat Islamophobia and support those affected by it.

Similarly, Tell MAMA, an organization dedicated to recording anti-Muslim hate incidents, has reported a significant increase in Islamophobic incidents, further highlighting the need for concrete measures to address this issue. The suspension of Tory MP Lee Anderson for making Islamophobic comments about London Mayor Sadiq Khan highlights the pervasiveness of such attitudes and the imperative of holding individuals accountable for their actions.

Read More: Selma Blair issues apology for Islamophobic comments

Behind these statistics lie deeply personal stories of trauma and fear. A 17-year-old Londoner recounts feeling targeted and experiencing anxiety attacks after being interrogated by teachers about his faith and support for Palestine. Similarly, a 32-year-old doctor in Manchester describes the profound impact of an attack on his home, leaving him too scared to leave after dark and significantly impacting his professional and personal life.